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Knowledge, Activity, and Results — And Why We Should Be Measuring All 3 Sales Development Metrics

3 min read
Updated Aug. 24, 2020
Published Jan. 4, 2016

A few weeks ago in December’s blab chat, Kyle Porter got a chance to (virtually) chat with Jacco van der Kooij and Craig Rosenberg to discuss moving past elementary sales development metrics. Both gave us so many powerful insights around sales development analytics — but Jacco’s most bold call to action?

“We need to stop faking.”

Jacco points out that as CEOs, Directors, and Managers of sales development teams, we consistently fake that we have insight on our reps. We fake that they know us as employers. We fake that we care about them. We fake that we are to be trusted with their careers.

That is not the right behavior for managing sales development professionals. If we want to foster careers, and improve the lives of our employees — we’ve got to do something different.

That’s when Jacco urged us to take a look at the letters S-D-R. Study what it really means — what SDR stands for. Do we really sell? Do we really develop? What exactly do they represent? What if we got it all wrong?

What effort goes into the sales pipeline must come out. If we put low effort in on the front end, lackluster results come out of the back end. The SDRs that we’re working with in today’s SaaS industry aren’t just kids playing around in cubicles. They are sales professionals.

These SDRs are the sales professionals that companies are looking for — they just don’t know it yet. They still think that this entry-level only SDR rule is a startup rule, as if it’s the mailroom role from the old days. But that’s not how we should treat and invest in SDRs.

Sales Development Reps are smart, agile sales professionals who are doing exactly what’s needed. They’re managing data and selling on the data and being resourceful.

And based on that perspective, here are Jacco’s 3 sales development metrics for measuring success for sales professionals:

1. Do they have the knowledge base? Do you understand what you’re doing? Are you able to study your topic? Do you have the insights?

2. Are they hitting their activity metrics? Are they actually taking the steps, not just in how many emails and phone calls they make, but in all different areas. Is the effort there?

3. What are the intelligent results? Not just results that indicate success, but results around failure can be a good indication around selling personas and success rates.

Today, we’re looking at only one metric: activity. It’s really bad. We need to look for [all] three things.” – Jacco van der Kooij

Most companies only measure on activity with a little bit of results sprinkled in — but what we should be measuring is knowledge, activity and results, together. Those are the three areas that, moving forward, SDRs should be managed on and how to take sales development to the next level of professionalism inside a sales organization.